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This summer has been eventful and full of amazing memories which makes this question kind of hard. But if I had to pick a moment it would be visiting the Regenstein Library. We had a day in which we watched a documentary about the black panthers to learn about activism and we had some activities after watching it. We went to the library and we were able to look at the original documents and some of the black panther newspapers that were being distributed at the time. It was such an amazing experience because you got to hold the real paper in your hands and it made it feel real. I feel like this was more of an educational experience than I have in school because we got to see real documents that were old and that made it exciting.

-Miriam (sloth)

This summer was really great for me. Our team did so many fun service projects and made so many fun memories as well. We worked and had fun with the kids who came to the library. I was really great helping the kids reading and playing little game with them. I had a great time and I know that teh kids at the library did too. Yesterday, we went to South Shore and walked around the area in the South Shore Cultual Center. We also saw a lot of cats and dogs walking around when we helped pass out flyers for play street. I had a great time with my team.

-Gianna the unicorn

It truly has been such a fun and productive summer with Team South Chicago. We shared many laughs, learned lots of new fun facts, supported local organizations and built relationships with young folks in the area. One of my favorite memories was the second Play Street event that we helped organize and facilitate. We had the opportunity to get to know community members and play around with some really awesome kids. I remember one kid in particular, who after playing with me for about 5 minutes, decided to write a comic book about us as superheroes. I loved the positive energy and motivation amongst our team members and am sad the summer is almost over!

-Jordan (lion/elephant)

This summer was enlightening and tranformative; we’ve been able to work with so many great organizations in South Chicago and learn about programs taking place in the area. One of my favorite memories was working with one of the institutions in the area, the Chicago Public Library. Our team participated in the Reading Buddies program, so we were paired with a young person and we would read books and play games. The library’s theme for the summer was superheros, and it was an incredible experience being able to see children feel empowered, entertained, and excited about reading. The energy and compassion from members of our team was boundless, and I will miss being surrounded by these incredible people five days a week.

-Frances (group embarrassing Mom)

My favorite part of the summer (and a goal that I specifically came into SSP with) was getting to explore and learn more about the Black & Brown-owned businesses in the South Chicago community and far southeast side of Chicago. I was grateful to keep my purchasing power in the neighborhood to its specific local gems and to be intentional in that way. I am grateful that Miriam introduced us to Dulce’s Cafe (2957 E 88th Street) and that we were also able to shop La Tiendita (The Thrift Store) at Centro Comunitario Juan Diego (8812 S. Commercial Ave) and local bakeries and restaurants. I also learned that even though I spend most of my work in community with older adults, that I want to continue to work on inter-generational teams as often as possible. The young people on our team gave me so much this summer in knowledge, insight, and renewed passion for social justice and I am grateful for them.

Lauren (Zookeeper)